iShoot in Review – Rags to Riches

ishoot1Ethan Nicholas and his game, iShoot, represent the dreams and ambitions of the thousands of independent developers that flock towards the AppStore. He went from obscurity, which lasted for months, to recognition and renown for both his business acumen and for the quality of iShoot. He did so well that at the current time of writing, iShoot has been on the top 100 paid apps list for over a month.

Through patience, luck and a timely release of a lite version, this game went from the back burner to the forefront of people’s front page. iShoot went from unknown to becoming the number one game weeks running for the iDevices. This was compelling enough for me to sit down and examine the heck out of Ethan Nicholas’ brainchild and see if it was deserving of the title of #1 game in the AppStore.

ishoot2iShoot falls under the the “turn based artillery” genre of games that extends all the way back to the mid/late 70s with games in its library such as Worms, Gunbound, Scorched Earth, and Tank Wars to name a few. (Thank you wikipedia). As an inheritor of this extensive, 3 decades old history, iShoot may not necessarily be a milestone in its advancement, but it is the best of its kind that can be found for your iDevice. It is a full featured game that will bring both quick and sustained entertainment.

The gameplay for iShoot is your standard fare. You can play with up to four opponents who can be either human or computer controlled. Their difficulty setting can be changed. You can also choose the round length which includes an option for infinity.  There is also an option to customize your tank. You can choose from a variety of colors and three different tank shapes.

ishoot3Once you start, there is a two dimensional representation of a battlefield. Your tank is randomly placed, and your objective is to destroy your enemy before you are destroyed. This is done in a turn based system so you may have to wait a couple of turns before you’re up. You can accomplish this destruction by moving your tank (which has a 250 fuel unit limit per map), setting your firing angle, accounting for the wind, setting your firing speed, and just letting go. This is more simple and more difficult than it seems.

Due to the firing mechanism being time measured instead of being able to be pre-set, you have to have a good sense of timing on when to let go in order to consistently hit your target. Now, this is no problem if you go for 100% all the time, but given each map’s landscape and barriers that may be in your way, it not always advisable. Also, the wind plays a greater role on your accuracy than you might realize, so it’s good advise to keep your eye on the wind meter.

ishoot4The more enemy tanks you destroy, the more money you make. You also make money by winning the round. This cash can be spent on building your arsenal that carries over each round.

The great fun of iShoot definitely comes with the variety of weapons that Ethan Nicholas provides. They range from Armageddon type ones like the Planet Buster or the Shiva Bomb to obstacle creation weapons like the Dirt Ball and the Great Wall. You’ll find that each weapon comes with a variety of strategies and playing styles, and it is a lot of fun to see what suits you. My personal favorite is using moving to the lone enemy tank, using the U238 Penetrator point blank, and finishing off with a Shiva Bomb.

ishoot5iShoot has an autosave feature. If your game is interrupted or crashes, you can start up again from where you left off. This is definitely a boon because there were a couple of moments where the game crashed. While this may normally be a massive annoyance, I found that the quick load-up time helped to mitigate my trashing the game. Also, it does seem like Ethan Nicholas is seeking to update and resolve these issues.

Unfortunately, iShoot doesn’t have an option to save multiple games. This would be a great addition as it would allow me to play both multiplayer games while my single player game is on hold. The lack of a wifi multiplayer option is also a loss for iShoot.

Despite these few hiccups, iShoot is a solid game. I find myself frequently playing for both short and extended periods of time, and so far, if hasn’t been boring. My hope is that Ethan would continue to update iShoot with more weapons, maps, and so forth making a good game great.

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App Summary
Title:iShootDeveloper:Ethan Nicholas
Price:$2.99App Size:13.9 mb
  • Only Good Artillery iDevice Game
  • Lots Of Good Weapons
  • Autosave
  • Still a Bit Buggy
  • No Save Slots

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